DREAMLAND, the debut record by Brent Spiner (best known as the robotic Data on TV’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), is eclectic even within the idiom of Trek actors releasing records. Spiner's dramatic heart seemingly cannot resist injecting an undercurrent of conflict into a collection of jazz standards, sung in duet with Maude Maggart. The album is presented as a sort of concept musical as Spiner pursues Maggart from New York City to the Land of Nod, with stretches of interstitial dialogue that range from off-kilter to downright demented.
However, what lifts the record from the novelty realm of the ‘70s records released by the likes of Shatner and Nimoy is Spiner’s sincere adoration of the expressive jazz vocals of Johnny Mercer, Mel Torme, and the like. Passion pours out of the songs on Dreamland, and the presence of the incomparable chanteuse Maggart automatically bestows legitimacy on this thoroughly unique record.